Five Star Alliance
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
 
FSA LogoThe Luxury Hotel Insider: Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance. 
 
Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.

Buzz: Langham Hotels Signs First India Property in Pune

September 17, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Place, Koregaon Park, Pune, IndiaFrom the legendary London hotel to Hong Kong's stylish establishment, Langham has brought its stimulating hospitality concept to four continents now. Luxury hotel operator, Langham Hotels International, has doubled in size in the last year with 16 hotels open or in the pipeline. We just got word that Langham has signed a contract for Langham Place, Koregaon Park, Pune, India- as Langham expands into what's termed the "new Silk Road of China, India and the Middle East." Slated to open in 2010 in the "Silicon Valley of India," the 180-room hotel will be home to India's first Chuan Spa concept, featuring oriental hot tubs, ice caves, herbal steam rooms, singles and couples treatment suites, and an infinity edge indoor and outdoor pool. The exciting restaurants on offer will include a new hybrid concept called Portal- Work & Play. Here's the scoop from the press release: "By combining a lobby lounge, cocktail bar and business centre, Portal is where work and play seamlessly intertwine to meet the needs of today's multi-tasking world." A DJ will spin in the lobby-atrium, setting the mood.


Around the World in 80 Ways: The Epic $1 Million Journey from Leading Hotels of the World

September 16, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One Aldwych, LondonWe recently spread the word about the incredible deal-- $19.28 room rates!-- offered by Leading Hotels of the World to celebrate its 80th anniversary. And now it's time to highlight another celebratory package from LHW-though this one is a tad more extravagant. Leading Hotels of the World has created an epic voyage, "Around The World in 80 Ways," to pay homage to both the 80th anniversary of the Academy Awards, and their own 80th birthday. The price tag for this amazing, glamorous journey? One million dollars.

Traveling in a private jet all the way, you and a companion will see everything in the world worth seeing and do everything in the world worth doing. Best of all, 10 percent of the USD 1 million price will be donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation for the global fight against AIDS. So, with that in mind, we invite you to open your hearts and wallets and get ready to set off on the adventure of a lifetime.


Hot Restaurants in Dubai: Fire and Ice at Raffles Hotel

September 11, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fire and Ice Restaurant, Raffles Hotel DubaiYou could say that Fire and Ice- Raffles Cellar and Grill at the Raffles Dubai is sizzling. There are open hot kitchens where the chefs use an innovative cooking method involving liquid nitrogen. The elements of fire and ice are the focus of the menu. Fodor's loves this place: "The provocative menu offers choices from the ice counter and the flame station, but the food doesn't need gimmicks to get by... The expertly prepared food is well worth the cost." The innovative taste and creative presentation results in "refined Trans-Ethnic cuisine, bringing the elements of fire and ice to your plate." And that's not all. There are over 400 wines on the wine list, and over 60 wines available by the glass. An entire wall of the restaurant serves as a cave for the bottles, stacked behind glass in a tempting display. The architecture of the hotel itself draws inspiration from one of the great wonders of the world; the enormous pyramid is a sight to behold on the glittering Dubai skyline.


What’s Hot in Dubai: InterContinental Dubai Festival City

September 5, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

InterContinental Dubai Festival CityThis year has seen the debut of another Dubai hotel inspired by the shape of a sailing yacht (the first architectural legend being the world-famous Burj Al Arab). The InterContinental Dubai Festival City is situated on the south bank of Dubai Creek in the midst of the city's business and shopping districts (not far from the Burj Dubai). As befits a Dubai hotel, this place has more amenities than you can shake a stick at, starting with the five restaurants and two bars. Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire, the three-Michelin-starred chef, is causing quite the stir in Dubai's culinary scene. Here you can sample "multisensory hits" (Japanese and Lebanese fare, too) in an adventurous dining experience. The hotel is connected to the big shopping center with a whopping 550 shops, and also a luxury 100-berth marina. Golfers like the two 18-hole championship courses just around the corner. Fodor's hails the new hotel as "striking silhouette rising from the south bank of Dubai Creek." Discerning travelers heart the MP3 docks and large flat-screen TVs. Vacationers like the "expansive free-form pool and sundecks, top-notch spa, and proximity to Festival City's shopping and dining." And "the sweeping marble foyer is a triumph of less-is-more modernism."


Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai: Stay for Four Nights, Pay for Only Three

August 22, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Jumeirah Beach HotelVisitors to the world's most over-the-top destination can't go wrong by booking the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The award-winning hotel exalts the pleasures of the good life with every amenity imaginable. In fact, lucky guests will find 20 restaurants to choose from, 4 swimming pools, 7 tennis courts, golf and more. Designed as an enormous wave on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, the hotel boasts uninterrupted panoramic views from all 600 guest rooms. From the private beach, you can enjoy endless watersports, including snorkeling over the purpose-built coral reef just 2 kilometers offshore. Just next door, the Wild Wadi Water Park lures with its exhilarating rides. Until September 30, 2008, you'll get a fourth night for free when you book a suite or villa for three consecutive nights. (Plus, you'll have access to your own private plunge pool when you book a villa.) As Halogen Guides points out, the rate at this luxurious property translates to only $264 per night.


Travel Trends: Voluntourism, and Give-Back Getaways with Ritz-Carlton Hotels

August 21, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand CaymanVolunteer tourism, a.k.a "voluntourism," is a growing trend in travel, and more and more travelers are jumping on the bandwagon and planning to volunteer during their vacations. Forbes Traveler sums it up nicely:

There comes a point — generally when you're on your third margarita, sunburned over 60 percent of your body and the kids are screaming in the infinity pool — when you start to wonder if there is more to the whole vacation concept than lying on a beach getting toasted. A way of showing thanks for your own good fortunes, perhaps. You want a chance to contribute more to a local economy than buying overpriced trinkets that neither you nor your friends back home really need.

Ritz-Carlton has taken notice. They've created the Give Back Getaways program- to offer guests a chance to give back to the community with half-day local community experiences, working alongside Ritz-Carlton Ladies and Gentlemen in a Community Footprints humanitarian or environmental project. All profits from the Give Back Getaways programs are donated to the partner organizations. An example is the Blue Iguana Recovery Program at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, led by naturalist Jean-Michel Cousteau, where guests assist with the breeding program to help a unique species on the brink of extinction.


Dining in Private Suites for Ramadan at the Rosewood Corniche, Jeddah

August 20, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Rosewood Corniche HotelWhen Rosewood opened their third hotel in Saudi Arabia in Jeddah on the Red Sea, we noted the 24-hour butler service and dedicated Ladies Floor created for female travelers, a first in the Kingdom. And now this ultra-luxury hotel has plans to offer private dining suites during Ramadan. Later this month, the Rosewood Corniche will launch VIP suites for breaking the fast in a lavish setting. The suites will offer private dining rooms where guests are served personalized Iftar and Sohour meals, created exclusively for the guest's Ramadan celebration. Guests are seated in the suite's own sumpthous Majlis, opulently appointed with plush cushions and beautiful Arabic lanterns. Plus, pilgrims heading to the Holy City of Mecca (just 50 minutes away) can be escorted in the hotel's collection of BMW limos.


Most Expensive Hotel Rooms: Hotel President Wilson, Geneva, and Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons New York

August 12, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel President WilsonForget "Staycations." The uber-rich continue to globe-trot on private jets and bunk down in swanky pads-- like the Royal Penthouse Suite at the Hotel President Wilson, the world's most expensive at a whopping $52,000 a night. Elite Traveler recently released their list of the "101 Top Hotel/Resort Suites of the Year" in the July/August 2008 issue. Runners-up for priciest suite include the $50,000/night Royal Villa at the Grand Resort Lagonissi in Attica, Greece, and the $21,000/night Imperial Suite at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome. In the U.S., the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons New York has a price tag of $30,000 per night, making it the most expensive suite built in the U.S. Next up? The Chairman Suite at the Palazzo in Vegas ($20,000/night) followed by the Empire Suite at the Carlyle in New York and the Grand Suite at the Grand Wailea Resort (both at $15,000/night). For the full breakdown, click here.


The Qasr Al Sharq: True Arabian Splendor with VIP Arrival at the Jeddah Airport, Penthouse Women’s Spa, and Personal Butlers

July 14, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Qasr Al SharqWe told you this place was swanky. The Qasr Al Sharq, otherwise known as the "Palace of the Orient," was recently written up as a "boutique hotel for the billionaire."

There are 130 pounds of gold leaf applied throughout the hotel, 600-thread-count sheets with gold embroidery on all the beds, and 220 staff – including a butler for each suite.

Situated on the Red Sea in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the Qasr Al Sharq hosts both business travelers and guests interested in making pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina. (The hotel can arrange religious guides to escort guests.) Managed by the Waldorf-Astoria Collection, the hotel is known for its extravagant Palace Suite which goes for $13,500 a night, and the breathtaking lobby that houses a Swarovski chandelier with 600,000 crystals hanging over the three-story circular staircase. Considering that many guests are Saudi families who come to Jeddah on royal court business, the facilities and business amenities are second-to-none: laptop computers and personal fax lines supplied to each guest.


St. Regis Hotel Planned for the Rapidly Growing City of Dubai

July 11, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

DubaiThis just in: St. Regis is planning to enter the hotel craze in Dubai with a hotel and branded residences to open in 2012. As if the Middle East's hot spot needed any more uber-luxurious hotels. To quote the official press release:

Following in the tradition of the legendary The St. Regis New York, The St. Regis Dubai will feature the famed hallmarks of St. Regis hotels including the iconic St. Regis Butler Service, bespoke guest experiences and luxury accommodations tailored to global travelers. Trained in the English tradition, the butlers provide ever-present, yet unobtrusive service while anticipating guest and resident needs and customizing each stay according to his or her specific tastes and preferences.

Overlooking Dubai Creek, The St. Regis Dubai and The Residences will feature 220 guest rooms, including 44 Junior Suites, and 80 branded residences as well as three top-notch restaurants, two bars, a fitness center, swimming pool, shops and more than 4,500 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and banquet space.